Why Didn't Lawyers Get Driver's Record Before Mistrial?

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The judge said case closed. But 2 Wants To Know is not so sure. We're talking about the plea deal that ended the case of Billy Bailey. He is now serving 30 days for hitting and killing 11-year-old Hasani Wesley.

Hasani was running to catch the school bus. He died that December morning. In April there was a mistrial. Monday Bailey accepted a plea agreement. At the same time we also learned about the reason for the mistrial: new information from the Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools.

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The information showed Hasani's school bus driver Stephanie Fulton has a driving history of running a stop sign, driving the wrong way and speeding in a bus. But none of that is in her criminal record.

We wanted to know why the district attorney didn't know this information before the mistrial in April. Since the new information came from the school district, that's where we started asking questions. A spokesperson said the bus driver's history was in her employee's permanent record which is confidential under state law. So the District had to wait for a subpoena from the District Attorney's office to open up about that information.

We called the DA to see why his office didn't ask for the driver's background sooner. We never heard back. So we reached out to criminal defense attorney Locke Clifford to give us more context. He showed us what's standard practice - running the driver's criminal record in a matter of minutes.

The only conviction to show up - a speeding ticket from 1992. Clifford says based off of that clean criminal record, he thinks there was no need for the DA to investigate further.

"There would be no reason to think we need to go check her school bus driver records. I don't think that's enough to put them on notice. So as far as I can tell, this whole incident as tragic as it is, was handled properly," Clifford said.

But this new information from the school district doesn't match up with the criminal record. Again, the schools says the driver had a history of problems like driving the wrong way in a traffic circle. We went back to the school district for an explanation. A spokesperson said if they find out an employee broke a serious law like sexual abuse, they will immediately turn the case over to law enforcement. But if it's just a minor crime like a traffic infraction - they like to deal with that internally.


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